Saturday, 27 November 2010

YW in Excellence.....yawn!

Tonight we went to our first YW in Excellence fireside. I don't remember doing YW in Excellence when I was in there - so I really didn't know what to expect. They had all the girls speak who were receiving their award. It was nice to hear from them - even if some were pretty sappy! I wished I had heard someone talk about something great they'd accomplished - something academic or great personal accomplishments - but mostly it was about preparing to be wives and mothers. However, Jill found it very inspiring and has committed to get to work on her goals. She says no TV until she has completed her Personal Progress. How did I get such a zealout??

Peirce, on the other hand, wasn't as impressed:

He was especially not impressed when he found out he slept right through the pie for dessert!

It's Over!

When I took a teaching position this past Spring I figured I could do anything for 3 months and that it would be so short it would hardly hit our radar screen. Well, was I wrong about that. It was short - but it was impactful and a big steep learning curve for me to climb, and really quite life-changing.

I should have put a page in the back of my day plan book to write down the lessons I was learning...but it seemed like life was spinning so fast there was hardly time. I'll try to capture some of the things I learned here:

  • I learned that I really really love teaching. I always had a hard time nailing down why I wanted to be a teacher. I finally just figured I liked kids and wanted to be around them and just in case I never got married and had my own, teaching would be a good way to have some in my life. Then, when I did have my own children I thought I really didn't want or need to go back to teaching. After all, my own children were so darling and beautiful and smart and fun and I figured I really didn't like other people's children that much at that point. However, I was wrong. I still like them! And there is planty of room in my heart for others. :0)
  • I had to do report cards for the first time in 12 years. That was something I forgot about!! Eeesh that's a lot of work.
  • I learned that having an hour in the morning with his dad can be the best thing in the world for Peirce. Allen has stayed home in the mornings to take Peirce to the bus and after Jill and I left they had about an hour together. They worked on cub badges, built marble runs, read together, and all sorts of fun stuff. I think it's been really great for BOTH of them!
  • I learned that my kids can make a meal here and there, and they enjoy it!
  • I learned that I'm definitely a morning person. If I got up early and got to school an extra hour early I would get 5X what I'd get done by staying late after school to get ready for the next day. After school I was way too worn out to be of much good for anything.
  • I've learned that I definitely need a full night's sleep. I don't like children that much when I'm tired. And when I'm well rested I can even laugh to myself at the most obnoxious children!
  • I've learned that what every child needs most is to know that you care about them. Without that nothing else happens. Truthfully, I knew that before, but it was a beautiful experience to put it into action and see again and again that that really is true.
  • I learned that I should have written things down all along the way....because I know there was much more!

All in all, I'm so glad I had this experience. It was a wonderful dip back into the world of teaching. Now I shall sub and if another position comes up I'll happily apply for it. I have a bunch of sub days booked already for December. And as a matter of fact, I have applied for a position for January. Here's hoping!! This time I will keep a page for lessons learned! I think I will also keep a page for funny things that happen. Classrooms can really be hilarious places!

Saturday, 6 November 2010

3rd Birthday....but no party

Today was the day our little girl Destiny was silently born. It seems like so long ago - and in many ways it seems like yesterday. When I think about it or read my journal and blog posts from that experience tears come quickly and easily.

It's hard to imagine that I would have a little 3 year old girl right now. I think of Jill when she was 3 years old - and she was so fun!! If we had a little girl in our house I imagine she would be so loved and doted on. I imagine she'd idolize Jill and love playing with Peirce.

I've learned a lot from that experience and since that experience.

I've learned that there really is comfort in the gospel in knowing that our family is sealed together and that we will all be together one day. When I was in the thick of the experience and dealing with loss I was more irritated than comforted when people would say, "Aren't you grateful for the gospel in all of this?" I was....but it still hurt so much and it hurt that people passed off what seemed like a trite phrase. At times I wanted to yell....NO!! I don't!! Who caresabout that?!! I found little comfort then - but as time has gone on I realize that I really did get through it all quite easily and there was comfort in the testimony that I have that this life isn't all there is....that we will see Destiny again one day and our family will finally feel complete.

I've learned that pregnancy loss is a huge issue. I can't believe how many people quietly tell me that they've had the same experience. I have women who have shared their experience with me and my heart aches for them as much as for my own situation. I feel a great bond with these women and probably always will. I remember talking with a woman I know who is a nurse. She quickly dismissed our conversation and said I'd soon get over it. She was wrong. It isn't an experience I think I'll ever 'get over'. I hope I don't. There's so much I learned from it all, and my perspective changed on so many things. I hope it is always close to my heart and never forgotten.

I've learned to not question. I spent so many hours wondering what I should have done different. After all, at 27 weeks lots of babies live. If only I had realized something was wrong. If only I had done something. If only I had not done whatever caused her heart to stop beating. I don't know if I did though. They did an autopsy and they had no answers. They didn't know why she didn't live. She was always a gentle baby. Her kicks were never really hard. That I did notice. Sometimes, when I'm in bed, sometimes I feel like I can still feel her movements. Sometimes I think I'm a little off my rocker too. I can't question anymore. There are no answers. I look forward to having a full knowledge one day and I believe I will find great comfort in the answers.

I've learned that I have an amazing support network at church and work and in my neighborhood. I'm lifted by people's sympathy and kindness. I remember noticing so many things at the funeral service we had for Destiny that I hadn't thought to do but someone did. I have no idea who did those little things - but I find great comfort in the friends and family I have that were so kind and thoughtful. I always will.

I've learned to trust in God. I don't know why this happened - but so much of that experience was a perfect storm that caused decisions to be made and things to happen that I wonder if they would have otherwise. We decided after Destiny was born to take Jill out of school and homeschool that year. I don't know if I would have done that if I hadn't been through that loss. I had a great desire to show more love and care to my children. That year for Jill was an amazing year and there are things about her personality now that I can point back to that year as the formative moments.

I've learned to be grateful for what I do have. I have a greater desire to be a good mother to Jill and Peirce. I have a greater desire to be kind to all children. That's probably what has led me back to teaching. I really do love children and often still feel like our family is incomplete. I'm not sure that means I will get pregnant again. We would welcome it - but so far have not been blessed with that. Maybe I feel like our family is incomplete because we don't have Destiny with us. Maybe it means there is someone else who will join our family. I don't know.

I've learned that we really did exist before we were born. And when we die our spirits do continue to exist. I know that Destiny continues to exist. She is a beautiful girl and I look forward to getting to spend time with her one day. She is a great strength to me.

A stillborn death is a pregnancy loss after 20 weeks. Apparently it happens to 1 in 115 births in the United States....which means 26,000 per year, or one every 20 minutes. And in developing countries the rate is much higher. I still have a great desire to do something to help women who go through this experience. I still don't have any idea what to do.

My friend, Vicki, wrote this poem. I love it. I hope she doesn't mind me posting it here.

Once Upon A Time

In the “before”Once Upon A Time,

We knew each other.

You were as precious as a rose.

We grew and we loved,

And we knew our Savior then,

Once Upon A Time.

I left you then

With a wish and a prayer

To see you again.

When I came to earth,

Once Upon A Time,

You grew until the day came

When you returned to me

And were gone again in a flash.

As I miss you now

How I long to hold you.

My heart aches to know you,

And I wonder about

Those days we spent

Once Upon A Time.

One day we will see each other

And hold each other tight.

You’ll be my little someone

And I’ll be your mother,

And we can begin again

And be with our Savior

And we will say,

Remember when,

Once Upon A Time?

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Just Sharing My Love of Books

When I started teaching this fall I was excited about reading novels out loud to my class. I decided the first book I'd read with them was The Breadwinner. I'd read it before and loved it. They loved it too. It fit really well with the group of kids I have (many of them are from families that have immigrated from India or Pakistan and other countries), and we're doing a unit on Risks and Rewards in Language Arts. That sure fits with many of Deborah Ellis' books! Plus, with Remembrance Day coming up, having a peek again into the lives of people affected by war has been quite moving for me.

When we finished The Breadwinner we voted and the majority voice clearly wanted to continue with the next book - Parvanna's Journey. We finished that today. The book isn't about real people - but the experiences they have are definitely real types of experiences that people in the middle of the war in Arghanistan are experiencing. Yesterday when we were reading the chapter where one of the characters is killed I could feel myself getting emotional.....I kept saying, "I'll hold it together....I don't want to cry in front of my class." But, alas, I was wrong! The tears came. My poor kids. They were a little uncomfortable with me crying....a couple boys were quick to bring me a tissue, and one girl kept saying, "You don't have to read it!" I laughed and told them, "No!! I have to read this! It's so well written!"

So now we're finished Parvanna's Journey and once again we voted, and we're going to continue with the Trilogy and read Mud City. I never thought I'd end up reading all three of these books out loud!

The sad thing is that I am pretty sure the teacher that will take over at the end of this month won't continue reading books out loud to them. Rats! Oh well. Deborah Ellis is one of my favorite YA authors. She has so many more books that I think these kids would be crazy many books, so little time!

I wonder what kind of job I could get where I could just do language arts with a full-time book club! Now that would be amazing!!